||Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white collar prison, and outer space, these nine stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don DeLillo’s iconic voice, from the rich, startling, jazz-infused sentences of his early work to the spare, distilled, monastic language of the later stories. In “Creation,” a couple at the end of a cruise in the West Indies can’t get off the island. In “Human Moments in World War III,” two men orbiting the earth hear American radio, a half century ago. In the title story, nuns working the violent streets of the south Bronx, confirm the neighborhood’s miracle, the apparition of the dead child, Esmeralda. Nuns, astronauts, athletes, terrorists, and travelers, the characters in The Angel Esmeralda propel themselves into the world and define it. DeLillo’s sentences are instantly recognizable, as original as the splatter of Jackson Pollock or the luminous rectangles of Rothko. These nine stories describe an extraordinary journey of one great American writer—and are a perfect introduction to the author whose prescience about world events and ear for American language changed the literary landscape.
||In a career that has landed him at the top of the contemporary literary food chain, Don DeLillo has published many profound and intense novels. With this collection of short fiction--his first--readers get to ingest DeLillo in single-serving portions. This provides a very different, and therefore welcome, experience of the author's themes, preoccupations, and style. Furthermore, the stories in this volume, each of which come accompanied by an illustration, span from 1979 to 2011, presenting an excellent overview of DeLillo's evolution. The earliest story, "Creation," follows two Caribbean travelers beset by mishaps. The landscape and dislocation provide metaphor for their psychological states, as they become involved in an affair. The latest piece, "The Starveling," also examines a functionally dysfunctional relationship. Leo Zhelezniak, who lives with his ex-wife, Flory, spends every day at the movies--hours and hours a day. Eventually he recognizes another extreme viewer, and he becomes obsessed with her. In between, the stories touch on art, earthquakes, perception, crimes, sex, nuns, jogging, war, and much more.